Is the citizenship form I-797 acceptable documentation of Title IV aid eligibility?
The following information is an excerpt from NASFAA News (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators)
If the student has documentation of permanent resident status, such as an I-551 Permanent Resident Card or I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, then he or she always must provide that documentation to the school (instead of an I-797) as proof of eligibility for Title IV funds.
A Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Notice of Action Form I-797 by itself is not acceptable citizenship documentation if the individual is in the process of applying for, but has not yet been approved for, permanent resident status. An I-797 indicating the student has submitted an application for permanent resident status alone is not sufficient for determining eligibility for Title IV funds.
If the I-797 is the only thing the student has received, the student should provide a copy to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. The school will forward documenation to DHS for confirmation. The student’s Title IV eligibility is based on the response the school receives back from the DHS/USCIS.